Digital natives and analogue missionaries (1/6)

The fact that my daughter knows one of the kids in this picture probably drew my attention to it.

As it happens I also walk past this private primary school twice a day on my way to and from work.  In fact, I once made fun of its advertising when I was mucking around with Tumblr.


They have since changed their billboard.  I loved the old one.  It was so in your face.  To me it always read: “This is a school for white people and asians – our uniform is available to other races, but achievement is out of reach.”

When I walk past all the European SUVs idling at the curb outside this school in the morning browness is notably absent in the kiss and run school drop offs.  The 2010 ERO report shows that the school is 90% European and Asian.  The state girls school next door sits at 66%.  Interestingly there is also a state boys school here too and it’s percentage is in the mid 80s.  Even though the state schools are right next to each other their zones are completely different.  The girls’ zone heads south, the boys’ zone heads north.  South there is a lot of diversity.  North there is less.  Mean income levels north and south differ as you would expect.

The photo I mentioned at the top of this post went with an article on-line about digital literacy in the classroom.  Here is the gist of the article:

…exposure to technology from a young age could be changing the brains of “digital natives” and have far-reaching consequences for the way teachers educate future generations, according to the prime minister’s chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman. 

Schools would require “a very different type of teacher” who can help pupils interpret information from sources beyond the teacher’s control.

The digital native.

This is a famous painting in New Zealand.  Well, famous if you’re a history nerd.  In the centre is the Maori chief Hongi Hika.  It was painted in 1820 in England and also features a missionary called Thomas Kendall and Waikato.

Thomas Kendall arrived in New Zealand almost 200 years ago in 1814.


Just the other day more detail was announced around New Zealand’s version of a charter school by Hekia Parata and John Banks.

Over the next five posts I want to tell you why I think these things are all connected.

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